At any time when there are studies of Buddhist monks misbehaving or violating the monastic code of conduct, we regularly hear feedback like “They’re inflicting a decay to the faith” and “They need to be kicked out of the monastery straight away”.
I solely agree with the second comment if the wrongdoing includes sexual activity, stealing, killing or boasting excessive religious attainment. They’re the 4 disrobing offences within the Vinaya, or the physique of monastic guidelines, laid down by Lord Buddha.
So, I used to be shocked to see well-known monk preacher Phra Maha Sompong crying reside on Fb final week, telling his followers that he was being pressured to go away the monkhood. Regardless that he stated that he discovered of the try from fellow monks and could not show whether or not it was true or not, he drew lots of sympathy on social media.
The unlikely drama was the aftermath of final month’s furore by which he, together with one other monk from the identical temple, Phra Maha Praiwan Worawano, have been criticised after they livestreamed speak reveals to ship dhamma on social media.
The reveals drew combined emotions from the general public. Some applauded their new strategy of preaching saying that it may entice younger individuals to get nearer to Buddha’s teachings.
However many voiced their disapproval. They condemned the 2 monks for making a comedy out of dhamma, unnecessarily poking enjoyable at stars and celebrities, and utilizing satirical and sarcastic remarks, not to mention excessively guffawing and laughing. Some even known as them a risk to the faith and demanded they be disrobed.
Such unfavorable sentiment towards the 2 preachers is comprehensible contemplating their private backgrounds.
Phra Maha Sompong, 43, has lengthy been recognized to evangelise dhamma in an amusing manner that all the time includes making a idiot of everybody and all the pieces. He is typically seen at leisure and sports activities features and, not too long ago, he agreed to be an honorary marketing consultant for an area soccer membership.
In the meantime, Phra Maha Praiwan, 30, a frequent commentator on social media, is thought for his outspokenness and sharp tongue. He previously shocked many Buddhists when he criticised a venerable monk. On the similar time, he typically renders robust remarks in response to those that criticise him.
Regardless that each of them are nicely educated and have good data of dhamma, they’re unpopular amongst most older Buddhists preferring to place their religion in monks who abide by disciplinary guidelines.
They could not assist however evaluate the duo’s unimpressive behaviour and character with the calm and holy nature of many different revered monks, most of whom are meditation masters whose flawless conduct has earned them respect from the general public.
Nevertheless, the 2 monks insisted that their present had good intentions. They stated that they solely wished to assist the brand new era perceive primary Buddhist teachings in an entertaining manner and put them to good use in actual life.
Wanting on the constructive facet, I believe we ought to be glad that they may get so many individuals to concentrate to dhamma on this fashionable world the place the normal preaching on the temple can by no means compete.
I consider that when these individuals are prepared for the next degree of dhamma, they’ll all the time flip to any meditation monk on the market for steering. After all, their teachings may not be as humorous however they’ll, at the very least, “awaken their minds” and produce them to the core of Buddhism.
Religion is a private expertise that’s exhausting to alter, particularly when it issues monks who’re usually anticipated to be clear to be worthy of being Buddha’s disciple. That is in all probability why many Buddhists really feel that Phra Maha Sompong and Phra Maha Praiwan aren’t certified.
I believe that the true flaw of the 2 monks lies in the truth that they’re too obsessive about worldly issues and neglect to interrupt away to focus extra on meditation follow or bhavana to refine themselves.
Meditation is the foremost obligation of all monks. It’s the solely software that Buddha assured to steer us to religious cultivation and, lastly, enlightenment — which is the final word objective in Buddhism. Immediately, the 2 monks proceed to host their reside speak reveals and entice lots of admirers — and haters as nicely.
In my eyes, each monks have completed sufficient for the advantage of laypeople. Will probably be a lot better in the event that they care extra about themselves and get critical with bhavana follow for the sake of their very own souls.
The obligation to guard Buddhism belongs to each monks and laypeople. So long as we do our greatest to drive unhealthy guys out of the monasteries and assist good monks, we needn’t fear that our faith will decline.